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A black-and-white image of the reverse of a diadrachm of Magas, dated 300–275 BCE, depicting the silphium plant, with a small crab on the right side and Greek letters interspersed in the branches of the plant.

Blog: Roe v. Wade, the GOP, and echoes of Augustus: Reproducing fascism

By Serena Witzke | June 25, 2022

I guess I should say “thank you.” Gratias vobis ago. Thank you to the Republican Party’s long game, a partisan SCOTUS, years of deliberate Democratic avoidance. You see, I’ve been wanting for a while to write a book about social control, forced reproduction, and their effects on real people living under an authoritarian government. Of course, I was planning Read more …

Gaius Gracchus addressing the plebeians. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Blog: Impeachment and Republican Rome

By Serena Witzke | February 18, 2021

If there’s one thing in this divided America that we can all agree on, it’s that former president Donald J. Trump’s impeachment lawyer Bruce Castor was pretty crappy. The historic second impeachment trial of Trump began Read more …

Blog: Domestic Violence in Ancient Rome and Game of Thrones

By Serena Witzke | May 27, 2019

Friends, Romans, Countrymen, I want to talk about domestic violence and Game of Thrones.

Game of Thrones has always had a woman problem: naked women used as set dressing, “sexposition” (the exposition of important plot points with sex acts in the background), the humiliation of women, scripting woman characters to thank their years of rape and Read more …

Mosaic depicting theatrical masks of Tragedy and Comedy

Blog: Teaching Comedy through Performance

By Serena Witzke | November 27, 2017

Co-authored with T.H.M Gellar-Goad.

Ancient comedy was a thoroughly performative genre, meant to be seen and heard, not read. This point should be obvious, but it can easily get lost in a traditional college or university course on comedy in translation, given the textual nature of the transmission of comedies, their distance in time and culture, the difficulties presented by translated material, and the demands and traditions of teaching Greek and Roman literature generally. In this post I describe a comedy-in-performance assignment that T.H.M Gellar-Goad and I created and have used in teaching general-education courses at two different American universities. One of us employed it in lieu of the Read more …